Austrian Air Force - Zeltweg

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Zeltweg is currently undergoing big chances with the arrival of the Eurofighters, which is planned around June 2007. This includes refurbishment of the runway and a lot of construction including the future hangars, simulator building and all the other infrastructure.

Pc7With the departure of the Saab 35OE Draken the airfield is nowadays the home for the flying school, equipped with Pilatus PC-7.
During a presentation the use of the PC-7 within the whole training process of the AuAF was explained: the first step of a future AuAF pilot are three check flights on a Cessna 152, which set the course for either a fixed or rotary wing flying career. The decision for the fixed wing branch will bring him/her then to Zeltweg to train on the PC-7.


Pilatus PC-7

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In wartime and for other events like the G-8 summit the PC-7 are also ideal to intercept slow flying aircraft, but most of the time they are used for the flight training and to practice the young pilots skills in formation or low level flying. The next step would be then the Saab 105 towards the Eurofighter.
GmeterWith the new structures of the Air Force and new (Eurofighter) and existing aircraft (UH-60, C-130) that are currently on the way to a full operational status and will therefore bring the ability to fulfil new (foreign) commitments, the training procedure will massively change in the next few years. Instructors at Zeltweg are sure that the new concept will bring its challenges but they also see a lot of chances that can be made out of this situation.
The convincing was done by a training flight in a PC-7, during which first a low level mission with a minimum height of 20m was flown at a special designated low flying area east of the airfield. The second part consisted out of some aerobatics with barrel rolls and loopings. All this was done in a two-ship formation to enable some air-to-air photos.

Pilatus PC-7 Training Flight

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Sammlung 2005I have to admit that this was by far one of the most exciting flights I have ever had. Concentrating on the outside and of course the photography, added with some adrenaline, did make me forget about the stress that I have experienced during this 30 minute long flight. When getting out of the plane after this wonderful experience I was deeply impressed by the flying skills and the exhaustion occurred some time later, though I did only do some photography up there and nothing more!
In the afternoon the day was completed with a visit of the "Sammlung 2005" a collection of historical Austrian AF aircraft ranging from the Yak-11 up to the recently retired Saab Draken.

Impressions from Zeltweg

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